Phineas Gage and How the Brain Supports Function

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Phineas Gage and How the Brain Supports Function

Alison McCormick

PSY/ 360 Cognitive Psychology

December 07, 2009

Eboni Shields

Phineas Gage a man who was working at his daily job sustained an injury acquiring an iron rod going from the left cheek bone through the right top side of his skull. The injury is one of the most researched to explain the brain in cognitive functions. (Ratiu P. & Talos I. F. (2004). The tale of Phineas Gage, digitally remastered. N. Engl. J. Med. 351: e21-e21.) In this paper I will be describing the role of the brain and its cognitive functions along with the Phineas Gage accident to reveal how the brain areas support cognitive function.

In each part of the brain there are different roles that the brain play to have all of our cognitive functions come together. In the readings we have learned that the functions of the brain is coordinated in the same way with every person including function and structure. But how they function becomes different in the experiences, traumas or injuries that we end up having in our lives. A cognitive function of the brain is known as cognitive neurology exploring the knowing of the mental processes of the brain including awareness, reasoning, judgments, and perception. (Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005) Out of these processes come the memories, knowledge, and intuition of controlled or automatic behaviors we endeavor.

Phineas Gage’s accident was one of the earliest reported cases of brain injury given. ( Ratiu P. & Talos I. F. (2004). The tale of Phineas Gage, digitally remastered. N. Engl. J. Med. 351: e21-e21.) In reading about the story I have come to learn that he suffered major brain trauma inducing personality changes making him an entirely different person. I understand that he was one of the first persons that were studied for brain damage to help with cognitive functions in psychology. Mr. Gage was a 25...

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